Actress Stefanie Estes is having a fabulous 2017 thus far, having already filmed two thrillers with many other projects in the wings. “Bethany” will hit theaters this April and “If Looks Could Kill” is now on Lifetime. Born in Hawaii, and a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Drama Program, Stefanie cut her teeth doing short films before snagging bigger roles in indie films like “State of Desolation,” “The Chosen” and “Everybody Loves Somebody.” Her latest two Movies, both directed by James Cullen Bressack, have launched her career to new heights and she was happy to discuss her latest successes:


Blasting News (BN): Why and when were you inspired to become an actress?

Stefanie Estes (SE): Growing up, I was surrounded by theater and acting. My uncle, Richard Estes, was an opera singer and my aunt, Brooke Alexander, is an actress. As a kid, I got to watch my uncle perform onstage and my aunt in “As The World Turns” on TV. I was shy and I told my mom that I wanted to quit the first acting class she enrolled me in because it was so overwhelming. But I gained much more confidence as I performed in plays all through middle school and high school. I fell in love with creating characters and telling their stories. I decided I wanted to pursue it professionally, and moved to New York and got my B.F.A from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

BN: Which genres do you like to work in the most?

SE: I love watching dramedies, something that will make me giggle but will also pull on my heart strings. In terms of my favorite genre to work on as an actress, I don’t think I have a specific favorite. I prefer to work on films that have strong and interesting characters and those can exist in any genre.

BN: How did you get involved with “Bethany”?

SE: I was out of town for the initial auditions, so I sent in a tape to the producers. James, the director, watched it and wanted me to come in to read again. So, I went in and read for Claire, the lead part, in person. Later that day, I got a call that they wanted me. We started shooting about a month later. It’s both a psychological and supernatural horror film.

Claire’s mental state is so compromised that you question if the terror she is experiencing is actually happening. It has a supernatural element that is rooted in Claire’s past trauma, which is revealed in a great and deeply disturbing way at the end of the film.


BN: Was this your first time working with James Cullen Bressack?

SE: Yes, it was. We developed a really great working relationship. James is very much a collaborator and really appreciates an actor’s input. We worked a lot on character development together leading up to shooting “Bethany” and he was very involved with honing my performance while we were shooting. We also had the good fortune to work together a second time. We shot the Lifetime thriller “If Looks Could Kill” last year in Oklahoma, which was really fun despite shooting during some infamous Oklahoma tornados.

They really come out of nowhere! We had to quickly hole up in a basement one day and wait for a pretty intense storm to pass.

BN: Are there any upcoming projects that you’re especially excited about?

SE: I have a few other indies coming out later this year: “Identity,” ‘Nothing Like The Sun” and “A Place Apart”.

BN: What advice would can you provide to young people who are aspiring to be professional actors?

SE: Don’t give up! It can seem daunting and impossible, but always believe in your talent, your voice, and the art that you are compelled to share.